House


Or would it be on the wagon, since I’m actually posting today? Not that I feel like I have anything interesting to say or any good pictures to share. I think coming down off of a very busy month makes us appreciate our lack of interest these days. We’ve moved into the new house, but have no pictures of it, though it’s finally starting to come together. We put up a rather sad Christmas tree with the few ornaments we have (it still twinkles), but we haven’t gotten around to putting up outside lights yet because it hasn’t stopped raining in what seems FOREVER and we’re lazy. We got blinds for the front windows so all of Grandview wouldn’t know our bidness anymore (this was actually noteworthy to us, hence the mention in the family blog). We just parked in the garage for the first time two nights ago and it finally feels like we live here. Yes, it’s coming together veeeeery slowly, but I think this house is going to suit us well. If only Santa would bring me a finished basement this year.

We bought this house. This rather unfinished, but pretty house. It’s more finished now than it is in the pictures, and hooks are up and appliances are installed and blinds are hung in the bedrooms, but at least this will give you a little idea of what it looks like in it’s semi-finished state. And now that it’s finally upon us, I have to admit, I’m bittersweet about moving again. Despite the skunk house infestations and the longer commute and the lack of sidewalks, I’ve grown to like our little rental corner of Upper Arlington. Our neighbors are good to us, the kids can play on Chevington Dr., an essentially dead-end street where they ride bigwheels like maniacs in folks’ driveways and they actually come out to watch and enjoy it. Where neighbor kids come over to play in the big driveway and pick-up games of tag ball happen after dinner. It’s definitely a different lifestyle – much more suburban, with a lot more space than Grandview, and thus a longer commute and the inability to walk anywhere interesting besides one park, but it’s been nice. I hope returning to Grandview is as good to us as living here has been!

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The new Fischer homestead

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Kitchen sans appliance and plus mess (which is what it’ll probably look like most of the time anyway)

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Luxurious Dining Area

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Back porch for after bedtime vacation relaxing without needing a babysitter

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The Christmas room – hopefully we’ll use it for a lot more than that…

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The stairs. Boy do I love them.

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Geert rockin’ the green room!

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Leva unveiling the princess pink cloud room

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Hattie, obviously impressed, says OOooooo!

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The master retreat, for more after bedtime without a babysitter relaxing (until 2 or 3 children join us in bed and kick us in the back or chest all night)

Cabinets are now in and the downstairs bath, kids bath and the floor in the master bath are done. some of the trim work is done, and we really like the backband. doors are solid and heavy – heavier than wood, i think, which means they’ll make exceptional noise when angry teenagers slam them. countertop ordered. we still need to pick out a stain for the floors and doorknobs, and the carpet too. still on schedule to be done in the next month!

mudroom slate (i LOVE it)
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kitchen cabinets in progress (now done)
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i’m obviously not a “blogger” and have fallen off of the wagon again. we have some updated house pictures for those interested – it really is amazing how fast these guys work. estimated time of finish is still the end of september and we locked in on a loan that expires october 14th. so we hope to celebrate leva’s 5th birthday in the house!

house with front porch
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hardwood floors down hall and kitchen to the right (hardwood is now finished)
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living room with fireplace installed and hiding behind protective box. mantle to be built soon.
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back of house with screened porch and mudroom
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Kids’ bathroom floor in progress
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brad’s at the house RIGHT NOW! kitchen’s painted. whoa.
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and doors are in!
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It’s called Travertine Chiaro tile on sale for $2.99/ft and Indian Slate for $1.99/ft, people!

Travertine! Did you know that travertine is made of sodium bicarbonate? Now I do. And I made a joke to the guy at the store about being acidotic and licking it to feel better and I got a blank stare. And a few crickets. It’s also very commonly used in europe. Il Colosseo is made mostly of travertine. So now I conjure images of me in my roman bath, and I like what I see. So I’m going to go a little crazy with the travertine. We’ll put it in the floors of all three bathrooms and around the tub in the kids’ bathroom and our master shower.
Travertine!!

Slate! (but ours will only be 1ft squares, and hopefully, by luck, not quite so colorful) This will go on the floor in the mudroom. It’s funny, with the sale price, porcelain made to look like slate is more expensive than slate. A lot more.
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Another light? – Appliancesmart. Found us a Frigidaire Gallery side by side for $600 off of retail. Our kitchen will still go over budget for the cabinets (but now by less, since we eliminated nearly everything but the doors – I’m not kidding) and the countertop, which I’m being a snob about. At this point I see no reason not to add $5/month onto our mortgage to have a perfect countertop that I will never, ever even think about replacing. Ever. We also found out that we “get” to install our own blacksplash (did I already mention this?), so I get to learn a new skill. I hope I don’t ruin said countertop.

I’ve officially met my max with the build and now am just mad about it. Perhaps somewhat unreasonably, but somewhat reasonably as well. The problem is the lack of communication and feeling, at this point, that i’m getting ripped off. We knew going into this project that it wasn’t a traditional build. It was what seemed to be a good opportunity to build a new house in an old neighborhood, and a place we had really come to call home. We very much wanted to stay in our neighborhood, but everything in our price range was either too small or needed too much work, and this seemed a very good solution, to get a nice, adequately sized house on a reasonable lot. While I had approached the architect with a budget to build and he had accepted it, by the time he drew up the plans he was WAY over. We ran the risk of missing out on building, vs stretching our wallet (and comfort zone) a bit for a house that frankly, was nicer than what I needed, but really seemed to be worth what we were paying for it. So I developed really rather high expectations for the house. I expected it to be just big enough for us, on a small lot, but with totally useable space and a reasonable location. And I expected it to be finished nicely. Very nicely. Not marble and gold leaf nice, but modern and quality nice. Instead, it seems that the budget for the house gives us essentially the bottom of the line builders materials. Appliances are cheap, windows are cheap, tile and countertops, cheap. The actual build of the house is very nice – a poured foundation with a very high basement ceiling, cement plank siding, a very nice back porch, a bigger than usual (for our neighborhood) garage, and the oak flooring and trim will be very nice. But I’m now disappointed. We’ve had to go over budget for a kitchen that doesn’t have a backsplash, has a $750 fridge and has no trim. We have to go over budget to get a countertop that matches. Our windows are dissappointing. Our tile allowance for the bathrooms is ridiculous. I’m very very frustrated. And I’m venting. Perhaps because I feel legally and personally trapped by this deal. I still want a new house in Grandview. I still want to go “home”. But I’m whining about it because it wasn’t the experience or the end result that I expected. I’m sure it will work out in the end, but I’m daunted by the amount of money we’ll be going over budget and am seriously scared that I’m getting ripped off.

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Windows are nearly all in (the ones in the front of the house and the garage are the only ones missing), i think all of the electric is run and we’re waiting on the panel, and i think all of the interior plumbing is done as well. But the lot still doesn’t have any utilities, so testing it out will have to wait a bit. Garage is up and has a roof. Siding just started going up on friday. And we have a mosquito and slime infested back swamp.

Windows
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Siding – cement board and trim – the house will ultimately be “herbal wash” (which is a pretty color with a terrible name) with “pure white” trim
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Garage and swamp
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Kitchen wiring – and the future front door
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Construction continued while we were away last week – we’re now waiting on the windows, due late next week, but the crew is busy trying to do things in the house that can’t get stolen and are okay to get wet until then. The four baby robins have literally left the nest, so now we’ll all feel better enclosing the place.

Back porch and mudroom, from the back yard
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Back porch through the sliding doors from the family room
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Arch separating the eating area from the kitchen (a short wall will enclose the fridge where the drain is going)
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Looking up main hall, through half bath, computer nook, at the stairs, just past which is the family room and sliding doors to porch
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The master suite (sigh)
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Four walls, a roof with shingles, and a mudroom = house. You may notice that the upstairs bedrooms have gone from two windows to one each in the front. Well, the bad news was that each of those two windows was too small to qualify as an egress window to meet code. The good news is that when we replaced the two smaller windows with one bigger window (to meet the code), the old window manufacturer didn’t make a window that size. So we got an upgrade! Now we’ll have nicer windows throughout the house with better trim, better moldings, and a better look, which honestly, we’re really happy with. So those are ordered and should come in soon. Also, the chimney has been put on and the hole on the inside cut out for the fireplace insert. So far the fireplace manufacturer and the architect are suggesting something new to us: an elevated fireplace. 20 inches off the ground. It sounds modern and trendy and interesting, but we’re not sure if we’ll go that way yet. We’re kind of old school.

Also, pictures coming sometime, but the entire inside of the house is now framed and the stairs are in! We like the way it flows and the back of the house is really open. We’re a little concerned with the kids’ bedroom sizes – especially Hattie’s, which, after all that rearranging, is still only 9′9″ by 12.5′ – long enough, certainly, but rather narrow. But hey, it’s a private room and maybe she’ll end up shacking up with Leva anyway.

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And it doesn’t even have a roof on it yet. I was expecting this, because the house that went up around the corner looked like a behemoth until it was done, i suppose since we were all used to seeing an empty lot and not a gigantic structure. but it sure does look tall. did i mention it doesn’t have a roof yet? that means it’ll be even taller. but i have to say, the advantage to such tallness is that one day, we’ll be living in it. and each of our kids will have their own room, which, coincidentally, i shifted around again last night. yep, the night before they start framing the second floor, i draw out this new plan based on some revisions that my friend Joy did and schlep it on over to the architects house at 9pm and say “i know you’re going to start framing this tomorrow, and this is annoyingly last second, but isn’t this cool??” he graciously nodded and yes, even said he’d make it happen. now all three kids’ rooms will be much more similar in size and shape, which i think will be an advantage. i always felt bad putting hattie in the “small awkward room”, and although leva still insists that she’s going to want to share a room with her forever, i just feel like i gotta plan on that sentiment changing.

also, on the same trip, our architect looks at me and says “they’ve made a mistake already. your basement was supposed to have 8 foot ceilings.” Yes? “They’re nine. You could have a basketball court down there.” Woo hoooooo!!!

maybe it’ll look smaller with a porch. and a roof. and some really big trees in front of it to hide it. or maybe i really won’t care from the inside.

1st floor roof done

Whoa.

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